Shubhankar Sharma soars into contention in BMW PGA Championship

Eight birdies on Saturday helped Shubhankar Sharma force his way up the order at Wentworth. At 12-under he is three behind the leaders Danny Willett and Jon Rahm

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Shubhankar Sharma

21 September 2019: As the European Tour’s marquee event reached a thrilling climactic phase, Shubhankar Sharma put himself in contention with a stellar 66 in the third round. Playing with great purpose on moving day, the 23-year-old Indian shot eight birdies to put himself firmly in the conversation for Sunday.

Danny Willett and Jon Rahm locked horns at the top with impressive 68s on Saturday, for a three-stroke advantage over Shubhankar, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Justin Rose. With the Indian making a 66 to move up the order, the latter two made matching 69s to put themselves in the chasing pack.

Rafa Cabrera Bello and Richie Ramsay are in T6, further two-strokes back at 10-under. Shubhankar is 12-under with Rose and Bezuidenhout. The leaders will begin Sunday at 15-under 201.

Shubhankar set the tone for a big day with three birdies in four holes as he got it ticking away at the second hole. He kept up his charge against the testing Wentworth Golf Course bingeing on birdies through the round. Four birdies in five holes, starting on the eight, meant that the Indian kept his foot firmly on the pedal. 

A twenty-foot putt on the 16th and another imaginative birdie on the 17th helped him to 13-under. His round was dampened a bit when he missed from four feet on the 18th, resulting in a bogey.

But if that can whet his appetite for another low round on Sunday, we could be in for some fireworks.

Leading Scores:

201 D Willett  (Eng) 68 65 68, J Rahm  (Esp) 66 67 68,
204 S Sharma (Ind) 71 67 66, C Bezuidenhout (RSA) 68 67 69, J Rose (Eng) 67 68 69,
206 R Cabrera Bello (Esp) 69 70 67, R Ramsay  (Sco) 71 68 67,
207 P Reed (USA) 70 70 67,
208 F Molinari (Ita) 69 70 69, A Putnam (USA) 71 67 70, V Hovland (Nor) 69 69 70, B Horschel (USA) 72 65 71, P Casey  (Eng) 68 69 71, A Johnston (Eng) 69 70 69,
209 P Waring  (Eng) 70 71 68, R Fisher (Eng) 70 73 66, H Stenson (Swe) 66 69 74,
210 R McIlroy  (Nir) 76 69 65, J Smith (Eng) 69 71 70, K Kitayama (USA) 71 71 68, A Noren  (Swe) 69 72 69, B Wiesberger  (Aut) 74 67 69,
211 R Macintyre  (Sco) 69 72 70, E Van Rooyen (RSA) 70 74 67, M Korhonen (Fin) 71 69 71, A Chesters  (Eng) 70 73 68,